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Bears begging to be crowned: Cal travels south to face UCSD Tritons

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NOVEMBER 03, 2022

Coming off of a two-week break, Cal is set to face UC San Diego at the Canyonview Aquatic Center on Friday, November 4. The Bears had a packed schedule starting off the season with dual meets against Pac-12 competitors Utah and Washington State in the same week. 

Things started off strong after Cal defeated Utah tallying up 169 points for the Bears and 123 points for the Utes. Onto the next, the Bears traveled all the way to Pullman, Washington securing another win versus another inner-conference team. Cal came out on top by a large margin with a final score of 167 points for the Bears and only 94 points for the Cougars. Now they travel south to sunny San Diego to hopefully be crowned royalty after defeating the UCSD King Triton. 

As it is still early in the season, coach David Durden explained how the swimmers are getting lots of opportunities to swim different events and continue with their conditioning in preparation for what’s to come. 

“I think that’s always a good sort of adversity to work through at the beginning of the season. They can draw upon (this experience) at different points in time as we move through championship meet season. So that’s probably our biggest challenge that we have in front of us that we have to really focus on,” Durden said.

Taking some time to rest and rejuvenate, the Bears are now ready to dive back into the pool and race fast competing against the ultimate enemy, the clock. Time is always running for the Bears. And this week, fans will turn their attention to all-star swimmers Isabelle Stadden, Eloise Riley, and Ayla Spitz as they continue their uphill battle to race the clock. 

Stadden won a total of four events for the Bears at Spieker Aquatic Center in the meet versus Utah. Stadden won the individual events of 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.02 and 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:52.96, almost 6 seconds ahead of fellow teammate Spitz, who came in second with a time of 1:58.36.  

“I think swimming the 200 back next to Isabel Stadden is always fun because she’s a training partner of mine,” Spitz said. “And she’s just a beast, so it’s always fun to race her even though I watched her go by.”

Spitz claimed victory in the 100-yard back with a time of 54.17 and ended in second overall in the 100-yard fly in that same meet. 

“The 100 back was also nice and I don’t always get to swim that towards the end of the season, so it’s kind of a fun one for me as is the 100 fly. I like doing those hundreds, so I actually enjoyed my event lineup quite a bit.” 

Later that week, the Bears set two pool records at Washington State University. Stadden set the pool record in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 53.90, shattering the previous record of 54.37. 

The Bears also broke the 400-yard freestyle relay record at the very end of the meet. With sophomore McKenna Stone leading off, then to Stadden, then to senior Eloise Riley, and finally anchoring the relay Spitz, these Bears crushed the record with a time of 3:21.92.

Riley won two other events over the weekend in Pullman. She took first place in the 50-yard free with a time of 23.55 as well as the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.53. 

Coach Durden mentioned how the jam-packed week was a “tough little stretch for them” and yet the Bears persevered, still undefeated against Pac-12 teams. UC San Diego also remains undefeated this season, winning by large margins against both Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and UC Davis.

Now, the question is whose streak will come to an early end.

Devon Byrne covers women’s swim and dive. Contact her at [email protected].

NOVEMBER 03, 2022